By Jean A. Flanagan
Moorefield Examiner –
From January 20 to January 30, Hardy County students were in school one day, and that day started two hours late. Temperatures in the single digits and wind chills below zero with a few inches of snow thrown in for good measure, kept kids out of the classroom the last two weeks in January. According to Superintendent Barbara Whitecotton, it will be impossible to make up all the missed days.
“We will use our Out of School days,” she said. “They are built in to the calendar, but there are only six or seven and we’ve exceeded that.”
After the OS days, the administration will look at Instructional Support and Enhancement days, those set aside for staff development and faculty senate. “We can take about half of the ISE days,” Whitecotton said.
“It’s good we don’t have to make all the days up this year. Next year, we are required to be in school 180 days, so we will have to find a way, if this happens next year.”
Senate Bill 359, which passed the West Virginia Legislature and was signed into law by Governor Tomblin in 2013, requires every school system in the state to have 180 separate instructional days, beginning in the 2014-15 school year. The law includes no provisions for waiving the policy.
Hardy County Schools follows a specific protocol to determine if school should be delayed or canceled because of the weather.
“The safety of our children is the overall factor in determining whether to delay or close schools due to extreme cold temperatures,” Whitecotton said.